Staff Recommendations

A listing of staff proclivities, recommended by both past and present bookstore and publishing employees. Check back for new recommendations each month as we bring you the best of what we're reading or have read. Browse by title, author or staff member!



  Andy
  |  Anna
  |  Caitlyn
  |  Chris C.
  |  Daven
  |  Don
  |  Elaine
  |  Emma
  |  Garrett
  |  Greg
  |  Joel
  |  Josiah
  |  Lawrence
  |  Linda
  |  Michael
  |  Nancy
  |  Paul
  |  Peter
  |  Ryan
  |  Scott
  |  Solomon
  |  Stacey

   
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Dictionary of the Undoing
John Freeman
With an afterword by Valeria Luiselli, Dictionary of the Undoing is a necessary, resounding cri de coeur in defense of language, meaning, and our ability to imagine, describe, and build a better world. ––Recommended by Paul
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Freeman's
The Best New Writing on California
John Freeman
Featuring work from Tommy Orange, Rabih Alameddine, Rachel Kushner, Mai Der Vang, Reyna Grande, and more, the sixth Freeman's brilliantly showcases some of the world’s best writers grappling with the myths and reality of California today. ––Recommended by Paul
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Severance
Ling Ma
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: NPR * The New Yorker ("Books We Loved") * Elle * Marie Claire * Amazon Editors * The Paris Review (Staff Favorites) * Refinery29 * Bustle * Buzzfeed * BookPage * Bookish * Mental Floss * Chicago Review of Books ––Recommended by Anna
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Only Americans Burn in Hell
Jarett Kobek
Recommended by Daven
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I Hotel
Tenth Anniversary Edition
Karen Tei Yamashita
An epic journey through one of America's most transformative decades via the stories of the activists, laborers, and students who shaped it. ––Recommended by Paul
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Blood Sisters
Kim Yideum
"This tightly-wound, exacting story is set during the late 80's, a time of student activism and suppression in Korea. Jeong Yeoul is unforgettable and mesmerizing as she navigates college life, gender norms, politics, and death."––Recommended by Anna
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Malebranche
Theological Figure, Being 2
Alain Badiou
Recommended by Solomon
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American Radicals
How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation
Holly Jackson
A dynamic, timely history of nineteenth-century activists—free-lovers and socialists, abolitionists and vigilantes—and the social revolution they sparked in the turbulent Civil War era. ––Recommended by Paul
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The Starless Sea
A Novel
Erin Morgenstern
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea. ––Recommended by Caitlyn
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salt slow
From White Review Short Story Prize winner Julia Armfield, a brilliant, provocative debut story collection for fans of Carmen Maria Machado and Kelly Link. ––Recommended by Anna
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Year of the Monkey
Patti Smith
"Whether induced by dreams or reality, Patti Smith's keen observations—gleaned from her year's-long travelogue—applies a soothing balm on the chaos of our crazed political moment. In addition, her coffee habit also reassures me that I am not alone."––Recommended by Stacey
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Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman, Neeli Cherkovski, Raymond Foye, Tate Swindell
Collected for the first time, the complete surviving works of a major African-American Beat Surrealist poet. ––Recommended by Paul Yamazaki, head book buyer, City Lights Bookstore
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The Water Dancer
A Novel
Ta-Nehisi Coates
From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom. ––Recommended by Paul
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Inland
A Novel
Téa Obreht
The bestselling author of The Tiger's Wife returns with "a bracingly epic and imaginatively mythic journey across the American West" ––Recommended by Anna

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